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Author Topic: Opinions on thin crack cams  (Read 111 times)

dgkula

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Opinions on thin crack cams
« on: June 10, 2004, 07:34:58 PM »

Hope this question doesn't bore you folks to death but I would appreciate your opinion on thin crack cams.

I currently have a set of WC Tech Friends from 0.5 to 3.5 inclusive and am considering adding some smaller cams to my rack for free climbing (and some day hopefully aid) purposes.

For completeness sake, I feel like I should pick up the WC Tech Friend 0 and 00, but at the same time are drawn to the hype surrounding the CCH Aliens and WC Zeros (especally the some day, off in the distant future, aid climber in me visualizing clipping into the thumb loop to get extra reach ...).

Any opinions? The Zeroes seem kinda pricey and the Aliens have bigger range but no cam stops. Should I care about no cam stops? Are the Aliens the "gold standard"? Any experiences with the Zeroes? Does it really matter? Shoud I get a life and stop worrying so much about gear that I can't afford when these things are probably practically functionally identical and just get out there and just climb? (OK, yes)

Thanks in advance :)
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scottie_c

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Re: Opinions on thin crack cams
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 06:45:55 AM »

anyone protecting thin cracks will tell you that aliens and metolius tcus are a staple. for super thin, wc zeros are your only choice.
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Schandy

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Re: Opinions on thin crack cams
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 07:46:02 AM »

Some people swear by aliens, some swear by TCU's.  I have both on my rack.  I think the aliens are a little nicer, but they are often hard to track down.  I've only seen them reguarly in North Conway, Keene Valley and the Gunks.  I love every alien that I have and I get a nice warm feeling once one goes in.  TCU's are really nice too.  They are a lot easier to find, and you can even get them on sale.  Good luck trying to find an alien on sale.  One inherrent limitiation in three cam design is that they can sometimes pivot around.  Not so good, but if you use slings or at least draws then you should be set.  They do have cam stops if you are worried about that.  
          The zeros look really nice in the store, but a partner of mine has some that aren't holding up as well.  The action is really rough and they just don't inspire the same confidence.  In the really small (keychain toy size) they are your only choice.  
           Maybe I'm missing the point of cam stops, but I don't see them as such a vital feature.  I imagine a lot of the cam stop hype stemmed from the BD cammalot design which has integral cam stops.  I speculate that a lot companies added them to keep up with the jones's.  Although cam stops might be usefull in placing a #3 cammalot like a nut, why would you unless you were totaly desperate?  If you cam does walk into a crack and open up, the cam stops might keep it in, but again, not a good situation.  IMHO, with the small cams, if you place one and need to rely on the cam stops you have already 'effed up and shouldn't have made that placement.  I also understand that in desperate situations (or situations that feel more desperate than they are  ;) ) the gripped factor tends to lead to somewhat inventive placements where cam stops might come into play.  To cut to the chase, cam stops don't hurt, but I've never gotten to a ledge and said "thank god I had good cam stops"   I think I just sucsessfuly taunted the gear gods enough to make this weekend interesting.  
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Opinions on thin crack cams
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 10:32:52 AM »

Cam stops might keep a cam from getting totaly reversed and hopelessly fixed while your 2nd is blindly jamming it arround in the crack trying to clean it.  So often an easy clean is hoplessly buggered by someone trying to clean the piece without looking at it first. Still the camstops would only help in an extreme case. i think with microcams that the camstops wouldn't be strong enough to hold a fall anyways. they migh help the placement from reversing and getting fixed due to ineptitude on the 2nds part.
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